How To Increase The Scope Of Your DHCP Server In A Windows Environment

If you have a working DHCP server on a Windows Environment which has run out of IP addresses, you may want to increase the subnet to give more addresses. This article addresses how to increase the scope of your DHCP server without having to redo all of the existing settings in your DHCP server.

Follow these 10 Steps to increasing IP addresses in your Windows Server DHCP without changing excluded ranges or other configurations.

1. Backup Your existing scope. Open your command prompt with elevated privileges and type the following. It will backup your DHCP scope to your Administrator Documents Folder

netsh dhcp server export C:\Users\Administrator\Documents\dhcp_fullbackup.exp all

2. Export your existing DHCP scope to a text document we can edit later. This will be imported after the scope has been removed.

netsh dhcp server dump> C:\Users\Administrator\Documents\dhcp-readable-export.txt

3. Turn off your DHCP Server Service so we can rename the DHCP database files. Go into your services and stop the DHCP server service.

4. Rename the existing DHCP Database Files. Navigate to C:\Windows\System32\DHCP and rename both the dhcp.pat and the dhcp.mdb files to .old

5. Remove the existing scope from the DHCP Server by right clicking the scope and selecting delete. (Breathe, remember you have a backup)

6. Edit your DHCP scope in the dhcp-readable-export.txt in the following areas to your preferences (Change the places in red with your wanted range):
# =====================================
# Add Scope
# =====================================

Dhcp Server \\*yourserverhere* add scope 10.5.240.0 255.255.254.0 “*ScopeName” “*ScopeName*”
Dhcp Server \\*yourserverhere* Scope 10.5.240.0 set state 1
Dhcp Server \\*yourserverhere* Scope 10.5.240.0 set delayoffer 0

# ==================================================================
# Start Add Ipranges to the Scope 10.5.240.0, Server *yourserverhere*
# ==================================================================

Dhcp Server \\*yourserverhere* Scope 10.5.240.0 Add iprange 10.5.240.1 10.5.241.254
Dhcp Server \\*yourserverhere* scope 10.5.240.0 set napstate Off

7. Save your changes to the dhcp-readable-export.txt you created earlier.

8. Import the dhcp-readable-export.txt file into your DHCP server. Open a command prompt and type the following.

netsh exec C:\Users\Administrator\Documents\dhcp-readable-export.txt

9. Start the DHCP Server Service

10. Go to your DHCP server and refresh, check your scope.

Pro Tip: Check all of your DHCP devices to see if it has received the new subnet. Restart their DHCP client or renew the network configurations of the computers which have not received the new subnet/address

Pro Tip 2: Change any devices which may have a static IP address to have the new subnet, ie servers, printers, etc.

How To Identify Email Scams

It’s always a good idea to know what to look for in an email that could be malicious. Whether these emails come from someone you don’t know or from a familiar email address, scam emails can occur in three different ways. The emails you should keep an eye out for are spam, phishing, and scams. Here are a few ways to identify each of them and some examples.

Spam:

Spam is the most familiar of the types of common email scams you might experience. Spam emails are unsolicited emails sent en masse. It’s what we refer to as “junk mail.” Unlike phishing and scam emails, spam is usually sent without the malicious intent of getting you to download destructive software. Instead, they may aim to get personal information from you later on. These “old fashioned” scam emails include chain emails, bogus business opportunities, health scams, discount software offers, and advance fee fraud.

Spam emails often include enticing headlines like “More Money Now” or “This New Diet Will Change Your Life.” Common scams will focus on monetary factors, such as building a better credit score, a work-from-home offer, “free” goods, how to earn easy money, and even investment opportunities. In the body of the email, grammar errors will likely give away the fact that the email isn’t sent from a legitimate organization.

Email services like Gmail  have developed ways to identify scam emails based on factors like administrator set policies, empty message content, and unknown sender addresses. But if your spam filters don’t catch the emails, keep an eye out for any email addresses that don’t seem familiar or offers that seem too good to be true. If the scam is common, you may be able to search the web to see if other people have reported it.

Example of Spam Email:

Gmail has already identified this email as spam because it came from an unknown sender and is similar to emails that other users have reported as spam. The “too good to be true” headline and the sense of urgency immediately gives this away as spam. You can also see that the email contains grammatical errors and random capitalization.

Phishing:

Phishing emails are designed to look as if they’ve been sent from a legitimate organization. Their goal is to entice the recipient to click on a link, download an attachment, or provide personal information. Some common phishing scams include fake communications from a bank or IT provider asking for money, or an email asking you to click on an attachment or go to a different site to view a joke, special offer, etc.

Phishing scams likely look like they come from a company you might trust and can even use logos from large companies. Given how sophisticated some of these emails may look, it’s even more important to be able to identify some of the common factors of phishing emails. A generic greeting such as “Hello, Customer” can be one common sign that this email is not from the company it claims to be. Another common identifier for phishing scams is misspellings. For example, the phrase “Eliminate Debt” may be shifted to say “Ĕliᵐińate Ɖebţ” to evade filters but still remain legible. Most scam companies are aware of filters built into email systems, and will purposefully insert spelling errors into their subjects to get past these filters.

The best way to confirm that an email is a phishing scam is to verify with the company from which you’ve received the email. Log in to the official site with your secure information and see if you have received any notifications that match the email or contact a support representative. Don’t follow the links in any email that feels “off” as these links could have malicious software.

Example of Phishing:

This email is an example of a new phishing scheme that appears to be from Amazon. If you received this email and knew that you had not made a purchase, you would likely be tempted to click on the link to cancel the order. When you respond to an email like this, someone will collect your real Amazon login to access your account. Key giveaways for this particular email as a phishing scam are the generic greeting and the phone number which has been programmed with html to hide other characters so that it looks like a legitimate number.

Scams:

Scam emails are most likely to be received from a person who looks real. These emails often come from an email “hack.” If you received a suspicious email from a real email address, it falls under a hack. These emails will likely be asking for money outright. If you haven’t heard from someone in awhile and they reach out asking for money, that should raise alarms. Scammers could have breached a colleague’s email address and sent you the email. A good rule of thumb is to personally ask your contact or colleague if the email is truly from them using a different form of contact. Do not reply directly to the suspicious email if it can be avoided.

Example of Scams:

This person hacked an email account and looked for any emails that referenced payments to try to get more money from people. To avoid any scams, the recipient texted the sender to make sure that it was legitimate before responding, and when he replied that it wasn’t, changed the password to secure the account.

What to do if you encounter a scam email:

If you receive a scam email (particularly spam), you can take a few actions to help protect yourself and other users.

First, update your spam filters in your email to reflect the spam you’ve seen. You can restrict the users who are able to send email by updating your filters. You can customize your level of security from just filtering our junk mail to filtering out anyone who isn’t on your safe list. Second, report the email as spam. This will let the email provider know to filter out the emails on their entire system. Third, install an antivirus software and firewall on your device to help protect against installing any harmful software received via email.

If you would like to receive more training on email safety or if you have any concerns about an email you’ve received, please call our team at (843) 324-5824.

Greg Mathis Charter High School: Creating a Custom Portal

Web Design: Creating a Custom School Registration Portal

Creating a secure portal for filling out, storing, and sending forms requires technical expertise in several different areas. In creating a custom portal for Greg Mathis Charter High School, our goal was to create a secure online portal to allow parents to sign their children up for school. We needed to gather a variety of information about each student from health conditions to school supplies. It was important that we create a way for parents to complete the sign-up process in multiple sittings, authorize each form, and send them to the school.

Our portal needed to allow for a simple process to login, fill out forms, and submit them. Let’s take a look at how we accomplished each step.

Step 1- Login:

Parents create a unique account that allows them to access all of the forms needed for enrollment and to edit previous entries. We’ve streamlined the process to be easy for many forms to be completed at one time or across several days. After completing and signing each form, the user is given the option to continue to the next form or to save their progress and return to the process later.

Step 2- Fill Out Forms:

The school provided us with the packet of forms which they typically use at the start of each school year. These forms were printed, scanned in, retyped, and re-formatted. To correctly build each form, we identified a WordPress plugin that allowed us to create custom fields for entries such as dates, times, numbers, and names. We could specify the fields that were required.

The school signup process consisted of 30 forms. Each was formatted to be aesthetically pleasing and easy to understand. Imputing the forms took several days. We set each form up to show whether or not it has been completed and to allow for future edits.

Step 3- Submit:

Every form is equipped with a digital signature field. Each form is then signed and dated so that all information provided is marked as approved by the parent. We secured each form with reCAPTCHA protection to protect from spam submissions and preserve security. After that, we set up a delivery process that would allow each form to be sent to the school in PDF form once completed. This way, the school could easily keep records for each student and sign them up for the new school year as usual.

Conclusion:

With the start of the school year approaching, ADVYON’s expert team worked tirelessly to make a user-friendly, high tech portal for this local high school. Both our team and the clients were very pleased with the end results. If your business needs a secure portal built for banking, medical forms, or any other secure sign-ups, please contact our team at (843) 324-5824 to see how we can help.

Watch our video for more details on the project!

How to Identify Common Domain Scams

Recently, some of ADVYON’s clients have called us to ask about letters or emails they’ve received from fraudulent companies like Domain Listings stating that the customer must renew their business listing or domain. These letters are a scam designed to take advantage of a service that you are already paying for and convince you that their party needs additional payment for this service. The letters often appear very urgent, so we wanted to share some resources to help our clients and the public quickly identify this common scam.

How Can I Identify This Scam?

The best way to identify the scam is to figure out who actually hosts your domain. Use ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to identify your domain ownership. Some popular sites which may be your domain provider include GoDaddy, Domain.com, Bluehost, and HostGator. You should never pay anyone who is not your domain provider for services related to your domain.

What Are the Companies Using this Scam:

Here are a list of a few companies who have recently used this scam:

  • Domain Renewal Group
  • Domain Registry of America
  • Domain Listings
  • IDNS

What Will the Scam Letter Look Like:

Below are some examples of letters and emails received by our customers. Below are some examples of what a fraudulent domain renewal notice will look like. If there is any doubt, contact your IT provider!

(How-To) Find Your Computer Name for Windows or Mac

Sometimes your IT Support technician will ask you for your computer name.  Here is a simple how-to for finding your computer name in Windows or Mac.


Fastest Way to find your computer name for Windows:

Press and hold the Windows key, then press the Pause/Break key.

Your computer name can be found under the “Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings” section of the window that appears. This window will look almost identical regardless of which operating system you’re running.


Fastest Way to find your computer name for Mac:

MAC OS X

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner.
  2. Click on System Preferences.
  3. Click on Sharing.
  4. The computer name will appear at the top of the window that opens in the Computer Name field.

Other methods to find your computer name:

On Windows Computers with Command Prompt

How to find the computer name on Windows computers
  1. Open start menu.
  2. Type into the search bar cmd /k hostname.
  3. Your computer name will be displayed in the first line of a command prompt window.

WINDOWS 7

  1. Click on the Start button.
  2. Right-click on Computer.
  3. Select Properties.
  4. Under Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings you will find the computer name listed.

WINDOWS 8/8.1

  1. Click on the Start button.
  2. When the launch screen appears, type Computer.
  3. Right-click on Computer within the search results and select Properties.
  4. Under Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings you will find the computer name listed.

WINDOWS 10

  1. Click on the Start button.
  2. In the search box, type Computer.
  3. Right click on This PC within the search results and select Properties.
  4. Under Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings you will find the computer name listed.

MAC OS X

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner.
  2. Click on System Preferences.
  3. Click on Sharing.
  4. The computer name will appear at the top of the window that opens in the Computer Name field.

How To Block Access To Specific Websites from your Router using Tomato Firmware

Tomato firmware is a free, downloadable firmware for the Linksys WRT series and some Buffalo and Asus routers which provides vastly improved functionality over the stock firmware. One of the nice things about Tomato, assuming you have a router which it’ll run on, is that it provides a very configurable method of selectively blocking access to the net in general, specific applications or protocols, or even specific websites. So if you have youngish kids who have (largely) unsupervised access to a computer with a net connection, you can keep them away from social networking sites like facebook, myspace, habbo etc. pretty easily. Here’s how:

1.) Go to you routers web interface (http://192.168.1.1 on my setup) and click on Access Restriction

Tomato1

2.) Click on Add to create a new rule

Tomato2

3.) Untick Block All Internet Access to display the full options list, and set it up something like this:

Tomato3

In the above example I’m only blocking selected machines (so the wife still has access to facebook etc.) – the PC the kids have access to is 192.168.1.105, and my IP is 101 (so I can test the blocks on my machine before removing myself from the block list).

The blocklist uses regex sub-string matching to decide which sites to block as follows:

You can also block specific protocols (BitTorrent, eDonkey, LimeWire etc.) using the built-in IPP2P module, or via Layer 7 (Application Layer) deep packet inspection, which can detect and block traffic of specific types (World of Warcraft, FTP, Flash etc. etc.) regardless of what port they’re running on.

Mac OS X Cleaning temp files etc.

If you insist on running any maintenance tasks, you could run these commands in the Terminal:

WARNING! The “sudo rm -f” command is VERY dangerous, and can cause data loss if used incorrectly. Please, PLEASE, ensure that you type the commands listed below correctly, double and even triple check, I will not be held responsible if you hose your system.

1. “User-level” tasks that do not require a restart:

Run maintenance cron tasks

Code:

sudo periodic daily weekly monthly

Flush logs under your home directory

Code:

cd ~/Library/Logs
sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Logs/*

Flush cache under your home directory

Code:

rm -rf ~/Library/Safari/Downloads.plist
cd ~/Library/Caches
sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Caches/*

Flush Directory Service resolver cache (DNS, etc)

Code:

dscacheutil -flushcache

Update application pre-binding

Code:

sudo update_prebinding -root / -force

Repair disk permissions on boot volume

Code:

sudo diskutil repairPermissions /

Log out and back in to finalize the above steps.

2. “System-level” tasks that require a restart:

Clear the global cache database

Code:

cd /Library/Caches
sudo rm -rf /Library/Caches/*

Flush system cache entries

Code:

cd /System/Library/Caches
sudo rm -rf /System/Library/Caches/*

Flush LaunchServices Database (helps with multiple “Open With” entries)

Code:

/System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user

Flush Apple Type Server (ATS) cache (resolves issues with corrupt fonts some times)

Code:

sudo rm -rf `lsof | grep com.apple.ATS/annex.aux \
| grep Finder | cut -c 66-139`
sudo rm -rf /private/var/folders/*/*/-Caches-/com.apple.ATS

Repair disk permissions on boot volume

Code:

sudo diskutil repairPermissions /

Finally, restart your Mac after completing any system-wide maintenance tasks.

OS X Mavericks: Methods for Starting up Your Mac

Normally you can restart your Mac by choosing Apple menu > Restart. However, in some cases—for example, if the pointer freezes on the screen or the Mac becomes unresponsive—you may have to use one of the startup methods listed here.

You can use these key combinations when you start up your Mac. Unless otherwise specified, hold down the specified key immediately after you hear the startup tone (while the screen is still black).

Action Shortcut
Manually restart Hold down the power button on your Mac until it shuts off. After a moment, press the power button again to start your Mac. You may lose unsaved changes in open documents.
Prevent automatic login When you see the progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear), hold down the left Shift key.
Prevent login items and Finder windows from opening when you log in After clicking the Log In button in the login window, hold down the Shift key.
Start up from a CD or DVD C
Start up from the default NetBoot disk image N
Start up in target disk mode T
Use Apple Diagnostics or Apple Hardware Test D
Use recovery tools Command (⌘)-R
Select a startup disk Option

To open the optical drive when choosing a startup disk, press Command (⌘)-Period (.).

Eject removable discs Hold down the mouse or trackpad button.

Hold down the Media Eject key (⏏) or F12 key.

Reset parameter RAM Option-Command (⌘)-P-R
Show detailed status messages (verbose mode) Command (⌘)-V
Start up in single user mode Command (⌘)-S
Start up in Safe Mode (Only essential OS X items are started; some features and apps might not work correctly.) Immediately after you hear the startup tone, hold down the Shift key. Release the Shift key when you see the progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear).

Last Modified: May 8, 2014

How to Use Screen Video Capture on Your Mac

Not sure when this feature got added, but since this was new to me, I thought this was worth sharing.

Launch QuickTime Player (it’s in your Applications folder). Now select New Screen Recording from the File menu, or type control-command-N. A small screen recording window will appear, like so:

recorder

Click the little triangle on the right side of the window to adjust the microphone and mouse click options. When ready, click the record button in the center of the window. Click and drag a section of the screen to record part of the screen or just click to record the entire screen. Once you do that, click to start recording. Click the stop button that appears in the menu bar to stop recording.

Pretty easy, and the end result is a QuickTime movie you can use anywhere you’d expect (iMovie, YouTube, etc.) Clearly not a method a pro would use, but if your needs are relatively simple, this is a great solution.